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Primary Talk Mentor

Being an I CAN Primary Talk mentor

You can train to become an I CAN Primary Talk mentor if you are experienced in whole school development. This will enable you to support schools working with the Primary Talk School Toolkit and is essential for schools working towards the Primary Talk School Award.


Primary Talk mentors who have previously been trained in Primary Talk accreditation should contact our Licensing Team on 0207 843 2515 or email licensing@ican.org.uk to find out how to update your training.


The Primary Talk School Toolkit is a resource to help schools develop the important area of speech, language and communication, through a focus on spoken language skills. These skills are best addressed through a whole school approach. The Primary Talk School Toolkit will support schools in developing this.


 The Primary Talk School Toolkit includes:

  • An audit tool: to get schools started by reviewing how they currently support speech, language and communication
  • An action planning tool: areas that schools highlight (with your support) from the audit then become actions for whole school development
  • Additional supporting documents including ideas for strategies and resources

How can the Primary Talk School Toolkit help?

The Primary Talk School Toolkit will help schools to make sustainable changes in many aspects of their provision, including:

  • Strategies that staff use on a daily basis as part of their teaching
  • Resources to help children’s speech, language and communication skills
  • Opportunities for developing talk across the curriculum.

The end result of all this work should be seen in improvements to all children’s spoken language skills – and this should impact on children’s engagement with learning and attainment in other areas too.

Schools can work independently with the Primary Talk School Toolkit but we recommend that they work with an I CAN Primary Talk mentor.

Primary Talk School Award – an I CAN Communication Quality Mark

The ultimate aim of this school development is improved speech, language and communication (SLC) skills for pupils. Schools that would like to receive external recognition of this work can apply for an I CAN Primary Talk School Award.

To do this they will need to work with an I CAN Primary Talk mentor.

This communication quality mark is awarded at two levels: Supportive (universal) or Enhanced (targeted), determined by the awarding panel on the basis of the evidence presented to them by you, the school’s Primary Talk Mentor.